CHINA: To Defend the Yangtze

The great Nationalist sortie from Suchow had failed. Three army groups set out a fortnight ago to break through the Communist encirclement and link up with government forces to the south (TIME, Dec. 13). By last week one entire group—General Sun Yuan-Hang's Sixteenth, with 40,000 men—had been completely wiped out. The remaining troops were huddled into an area ten miles in diameter of flat, marshy land 50 miles southwest of Suchow.

The few supplies the Suchow armies had brought with them were quickly exhausted. All last week, through bad weather and Communist flak, commercial and military planes shuttled back & forth...

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